Saturday, January 23, 2010

Decisions, Decisions

With the rainy, cold weather I haven’t been riding as much as I would like. I have also been trying to solve the issue of Petunia not wanting to run and having no power in fifth or sixth gear. Willy D suggested that it could be an intake leak and the air/fuel mix seemed wrong. Well, I found the rubber plug used on the throttle body, from when I added the Ness Big Sucker, was cracked and leaking. So, I replaced it and while it ran better, it still lacked power in the top two gears. Had it looked at and seems the Power Commander isn’t interfacing with the ECM correctly for some reason.


So, what do I need do about it? Replace one and hope I picked the right one? Replace them both and know I got the right one? In either case it requires a trip to a dyno shop for another chunk of change. Nope, I went to three shops and talked to them about recommendations to upgrade her into a 95” full fledge hog.

First shop wanted to pop in a set of off brand pistons, bore my jugs, do, and I quote; some head work, and use a canned map that he has. Nowhere did he address the mentioned problem between the PCIII and ECM. His price was cheap by comparison to the other two.

Second one offered to use Wiseco pistons and remanufactured jugs, replace the ECM and change out the PCIII with a PC 5, port and polish the heads and dyno it. His price was just over double the first one.

Then I went to Iron Horse Corral. I discussed my issues with Nathan and ask his opinion of what I needed. Before he answered my question he questioned me about the type of riding I do and what I expected to get out of the build. A 95” kit for sure with Wiseco 10:1 forged pistons. But to make it work the heads would need to be ported, polished, reshaped, and shaved down. Just happened to have two sets already done and waiting. One set would allow for 100 HP and the other 110 HP. The 100 HP set has been diamond cut and he explained that that allows more surface area and helps with cooling. He said my S&S 510 cams wouldn’t make it jump and said putting in a set of 625s would be the preferred set up. Then he addressed the current issue by telling me to throw away the PCIII and ECM to be replaced with a ThunderMax EFI w/AutoTune .  His price, without the ThunderMax was just a few bucks higher then the second shop. Adding the Thundermax would add an additional $900.

I left with a decision to make and after three days of arguing with myself I have decided to have Iron Horse do the work.  They are also going to install the set of Bub 7 2 into1 exhaust I already ordered.  All they have to do now is be able to squeeze me in.

Oh yeah, and I have taken the pig pen off of Petunia and listed it on Craigs List.  Anyone interested in a nice hack let me know.  When I get too old to hold Petunia up I'll look into a trike conversion.   

14 comments :

  1. Decisions...decisions. Glad I dont have those problems. My old 45 is just what I'm into now days for some reason (scratches head) any way, sounds like you might be on to something with Iron Horse. At least they took time to find out a little about what YOU want. Hope it all comes together for ya. If not, stock seems to be working good on both my Miss Tilley and my Miss Clemontine,might give it a try. (yep! I'm chuckling)
    John

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mr. AHD: Don't have the time for a proper resonse right now but hold up on this until I get back to you. I'll try tomorrow sometime.

    fasthair

    ReplyDelete
  3. Jonn, in the past I only rode solo on my road trips and now I'll be riding two up part of the time and pulling a trailer, so I'm trying to convince myself I need that extra power.

    fasthair, can't do anything till next week, so I'll wait to hear from you. Anyway, after posting this I am still having that internal argument with myself about spending the money.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yeah, I was just having a little fun. But. I do know what you mean about the money. I usually second guess myself for a week or two after I've spent it. However, you'll never know till you do. My thought...if you can honestly afford it, the jump on it, wrestle it into submission and have a good ride. Hope you have a good one either way.
    John

    ReplyDelete
  5. I feel your pain. Was just discussing with the missus this morning some of the family money I was going to have to blow on my bike before spring arrives.

    Good luck with what ever you choose do do.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Well at least it sounds like you’re getting someplace. I would be more curious as to why the Power Commander isn’t interfacing correctly. It should work fine and you’ve already paid for it. That 88 should be plenty of ponies for open-road touring, even with a load. So just how did she run stock?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Willy D, It ran OK back 48,000 miles ago, then I changed the mufflers and air filter and it went to crap. So, I changed the pipes and put the PCIII on it. Since then I've had two other mufflers, and another set of pipes. It has been dynoed three times and I have changed the map at least eight times trying to get it to run. It runs now kind of like it did up in Williams, like it won't get out of its own way.

    I don't know what the problem is with the interface between the computer now and the shop that checked didn't have an answer. They didn't even try to sell me anything, but said it would take checking farther into it. Anything I change now would need to go back to the dyno for $350 and I'm not sure there is a good one in the area.

    I'm closer to making a final decision and really don't want a high performance race bike. But, I do need it to run on the highway, pull itself up hills, and get more than 28 mpg.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Did it have O2 sensors when it was bone stock?

    ReplyDelete
  9. No O2 sensors when stock. It will have a set of wide band ones on by Saturday. I'm going to install the ThunderMax AutoTune with the Bub 7 2:1 and see how it runs before I bite the bullet on the 95" and other work.

    ReplyDelete
  10. A few years back I was thinking about going after-market. After checking, the ThunderMax was the one I was interested in. Never did change. Maybe you’ll get new life out of the 88.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Did you (or any of the shops) ever check your plugs and wires?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Man, I hate it when my Power Commander won't interface with my ECM. Personally, I'd sell it and buy a Yamaha FJR! :)

    Seriously, I empathize immensely and hope it all works out. A question I ask myself when contemplating something is this:

    What's the objective?

    Then I can decide how best to get there.

    Either way, may success be yours!

    Nobody needs continued frustration.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Well...this is why I insist on keeping my bike as stock as possible. I don't need high performance or tweaking or anything like that. I just want it to run.

    My friend has a softail heritage with all the ecm, pipes and all that other BS. It's an 07 and has never run right since the "customization" was introduced. Last weekend he replace all the stock shit back on it and it's never run better he says. Then he winced at all the money he spent.

    Sorry bro, not trying to bag or anything like that. But reading your story and hearing other peoples nightmares just keeps verifying and justifying my thoughts on this matter.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sounds like you have already made your decision. Just curious, did you try taking it to RamJets over on Cave Creek Rd? We've had a lot of work done there. Their prices are decent and they know what the hell they're doing.

    Anyway, good luck with it. Stop by after she's up and running again. We'll go for a scoot. :)

    ReplyDelete